Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Progress with Water

Little Miss hasn't been the biggest fan of water. Her experiences with bathing and swimming are long and storied.

From her very first bath she screamed until she was red in the face. It took her months to warm up to the baby bath tub, each bath time was crying from start to finish. (And nerve wracking  for mommy too.) Eventually it got better but we continued bathing her in the baby tub until she was 7 months old.

When it was time to graduate to the big tub, it was a disaster. She screamed so hard that she threw up. After a couple of day of this, I gave up. So she began showering with mommy instead. She still hated it but didn't scream so violently and eventually stopped crying all together for showers.

By the time she was 1 she was getting too heavy and squirmy to continue holding while showering so it was time to try the bath tub again. After several days of trying everything I finally started getting in with her which made the tears stop completely. After a day or two of this I was able to put her in by herself with few tears. Things progressed well until after not listening to mommy's request of, "sit down so you don't fall", she slipped and momentarily dunked her head. That scared her badly and she began screaming violently for every bath after that. So it was back to showering with mommy again.

After a month of that I decided she needed to get used to the bath. So we bought a few new toys and popped her back in. Surprisingly she didn't cry from that time on and happily splashed and kicked around.

Swimming was much the same. Last season she was only happy tightly clinging to mommy or daddy. Eventually she warmed up to being in a baby float but these were the only 2 positions she liked. If we tried to lay her back or swing her around in the water she became frightened.

Since it's been warm we've taken her swimming a few times this season with her where she has acted much the same as last summer.

Until today. Today she made huge progress! After several minutes of just hanging onto daddy he turned her around, her back against his chest. Trying this with her in the past has only elicited panic from her. But this time she laid back and started furiously kicking her little legs. A huge smile broke across her face. This is fun!!!! Many delighted squeals followed. And Madeline was pretty excited too. ;)

After that she began throwing her head all the way back into the water and she was able to practice her floating form.

I can't express how proud I was watching her overcome one of her fears. I have been planning to take her for swim lessons this summer so maybe now it won't be an ordeal. The sooner she can be taught to swim and how to be safe around water, the better.

Way to go baby! Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you!

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